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MDF Soldiers Advised to be Apolitical

By Grace Kapatuka

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera and Malawi Defence Force Commander, Gen. Vincent Nundwe arrives at MAFCO parade grounds. Pic by-Okhfi Dimba

Salima, December 18, Mana. President, Dr Lazarus Chakwera has advised Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers to be apolitical when discharging their duties so that they continue to be accorded the respect they deserve.

Chakwera who is also Commander- in -Chief of the MDF, made the remarks on Saturday, at the Malawi Armed Forces College (MAFCO) in Salima during the commissioning of 151 officer cadets and passing out parade of 1,055 recruits who have completed a one year training and four months basic training respectively at the college.

He said the MDF was an institution that enjoys international acclaim as one of the most disciplined and professional forces in the world hence the need to be respected.

“It should go without saying, yet still must be said, that the success of the MDF stems, in large part, from the resolve of those in its ranks to remain apolitical.  Your clear demonstration of ideological neutrality and non-interference in domestic politics have been key components of our effective system of Democratic Control of the Armed Forces,” the President said.

Chakwera added that “in practice, this means that neither the MDF as an institution, nor its leaders attempt to influence domestic politics, no more than they abide any attempts by politicians themselves to interfere in the discharge of their duties. It is this that has given the MDF its well-deserved accolade as the People’s Army.”

He advised the new officer cadets and recruits to uphold the legacy of the profession they have joined by not serving as soldiers only but to be leaders as well.

“As things stand, what each of you has joined today is more than a noble profession. This is a legacy you must now do your part to uphold, not only as soldiers, but as leaders of other men and women in uniform sworn to do the same. This is a huge responsibility, for it means putting duty to country above all things,” Chakwera added.

He promised government’s support towards improving the living standards of the soldiers and all other security agencies in the country so that they effectively discharge their constitutional mandate. 

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera inspects parade during officer cadets commissioning and recruits passing-out parade. Pic by-Okhifi Dimba

“My administration is committed to improving your living conditions so that they are commensurate with the services you render to country and citizen alike,” Chakwera said.

Commander of the MDF, General Vincent Nundwe said the force would remain committed and working hard in its strive to fulfill its constitutional mandate.

He congratulated the new officer cadets and the recruits for completing a one year training saying what they have achieved during the training would be remembered forever as per MDF’s motto which says Chaphunzilidwa Sichinatayike.

During the function, Dr Chakwera presented a sword of honour and a trophy to David Shumba who emerged to be best overall cadet and Francis Kanyada Salim jnr who emerged as best overall recruit.

The 151 officer cadets commissioned included 118 males and 33 females who are Doctors, teachers and engineers.

Two of the cadets are Zambians.

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  1. Pastor Lazarus Chakwera is not the first Commander-In-Chief Malawi has ever had. Those who were there before him didn’t trouble themselves puting on military uniform because they knew their limitations/capabilities. The military appointment accorded is basically “Ceremonial”. For one to put on thst uniform he must have gone through strenuous and tough training day and night. That maroon beret he wears requires one to become a Paratrooper after coming/jumping out of a plane from the sky, having gone through a gruesome drilling. Please stop mocking those who have proudly strived to attain that honourable qualification. Politics and military are worlds apart. Other presidents who go about wearing fatigues and ceremonial dress were once soldiers/military officers and as such they qualify to do that. Osamaphweketsa ntchito za ena. Next time if somebody asks you to wear a military uniform tell him/her that I am not suitable and not qualified. If you have fallen in love with uniforms, try police or prisons regalia. Possibly you admire the Royal family members from the UK; those too go through some form of training before dressing in such uniforms. Surprisingly, Chakwera even has medals displayed on his chest, really? Are they political or pastoral medals? Please desist from diluting military ethics, discipline, protocol, pomp and standards. Osaphatikiza ntchito. Why is it everything you touch stinks? You definitely need to do a proper soul searching before things get worse. Osamangokopela zinthu musakudziwa kumasulira kwache. Anthu amabvutikira kuti abvale uniform imeneyo.


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